Tourists are Terrible

by - 6:49 PM

It's the most wonderful time of the year, they say. The holidays are just around the corner, there's no school to worry about and life really is a bit more wonderful than on a usual Monday. The city is full of light, music, Christmas trees... and tourists. You can't move an inch around town without bumping headfirst into a group of tourists. They are everywhere, here in Rotterdam, but also in deserted places like Death Valley and the Peruvian Andes. They are driving me crazy with their completely illogical behaviour... They make my blood boil, my fingers twitch...
'But, Envy,' you might say, 'that's just because they are impeding you while you're shopping for Christmas.'
True, they are impeding me. But I hate tourists all year round. Not all of them; some are awesome. Most, however, are downright terrible. Let me illustrate my point by telling about my visit to Colca Canyon, Peru. Fasten your seatbelts, I'm taking you on an imaginary trip with me to Cruz del Condor!

A Normal Day At Cruz Del Condor

If you want to see the great condors fly at Colca Canyon, you have to wake up early. Only until noon do the condors fly at Cruz del Condor, only until noon are the winds in the canyon exactly perfect for condors to fly. So we wake up - at 5am. We get into the bus that will bring us from rural town Chivay to Cruz del Condor. Quite frankly, this will only take one hour or so. But when we arrive at the entrance of Colca Canyon, we find ourselves in a gigantic traffic jam. Bus after bus after bus full of tourists... Everyone is trying to get in first. This is the real reason we got up this early: the time-devouring tourist-traffic jam.
After inching our way to Cruz del Condor, the tour guide tells us something about condors. This is actually super interesting if you have the slightest bit of interest in condors. Sadly, most people on the bus don't. They're just here to brag about the fact that they'll have seen condors by the end of the day.
So we learn about condors and are abou to get off the bus. This is what we see.


Tourists are standing so close to the edge of the Canyon that it's a miracle nobody's falling down as we speak. But if we want to see condors, we'll have to get up there with all the others. We dive into the masses. Other tourists are touching us in places we really don't want them to touch us - intentional or not, we'll never know. Body odor is constantly attacking our nostrils and our toes have been crushed a thousand times by the time we get more or less close to the edge of the Canyon. By now you'll probably understand why I hate the creature called 'tourist'.
The tallest people from every busload are standing up front, as always, and I can't see a thing with my meagre 1.67m. I hope you do better, but by now I fear neither one of us will see a condor.
Meanwhile people complain that the condors might fly to fast to take a good picture. As if complaining will slow these animals down. Others, who've brought a camera with a lense the size of the Hubble telescope, laugh at me for having 'just 10 megapixels', while the best picture of a condor they'll take today will look a lot like this.


So we stand there, not even close to the edge of the Canyon, behind a crowd of bored tourists - they've been waiting for a full five minutes and haven't seen a condor yet. How dare those animals not show up within five minutes! Alas, nothing is happening, except for some fat Germans stepping on our toes once again.
Then, all of a sudden, I see a condor. I nudge you and point at it. We admire it in stunned silence - until the rest of the tourists discovers it. The crowd lets out a deafening roar: OMG LOOK IT'S A CONDOR IT'S FLYING OMG A CONDOR I HAVE TO TAKE A PICTURE OF THE FLYING CONDOR OMG IT'S STILL FLYING WOW IT FLIES IT'S A CONDOR AMAZING.'
The OMG's keep piercing our eardrums; it's almost as if no one ever expected to see a condor at Cruz del Condor. A thousand miniature Hubble telescopes are pointed toward the sky. We hear a thousand pictures being taken and feel the people behind us pushing us as to get closer to the condor. By now the poor animal has probably had a tiny heart attack. It flees behind a rock on the other side of the Canyon and disappears from view.
We have now seen our condor and I don't know about you, but I want  to get out of the crowd before we're crushed to death. We slowly make our way bakc to the bus, which is blocked by a group of teenage girls. They won't step aside, because they have spotted a baby condor! Or so they think.
Remember the tour guide telling us all about condors? Well, she also told us you'll never see a baby condor fly by. They are too heavy, their wings can't support them. If they try to fly, they'll die. The average tourist will hear this information and forget it the second they get off the bus. And that's why we see these girls pointing at hummingbirds and calling them 'baby condors'.
Somehow we get back to our seats in the bus and leave the idiocy of the average tourist behind us. We'll go back to Chivay in half an hour. Slowly the other people from our group get back to the bus. Ten seconds before we leave, our tour guide notices one of the women is missing. You take a quick look out of the window and you've found her: she's standing in line for the toilet - along with about 50 other women. And she's not anywhere near the toilet yet.
Since this womam refuses to go back to the bus before she's been to the toilet, we wait. You fall asleep quickly and I also decide to take a nap. When we wake up we're back in Chivay, far away from all the touristy madness at Cruz del Condor. Just the way I like it.

Have I convinced you that tourists aren't awesome at all? 
No? Believe me, one day you'll find out for yourself when you get stuck in a crowd of tourists ;)
Yes? Great! Then you'll probably also know what not to do the next time you're being a tourist.
Stay Awesome!

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7 Fellow Ramblers

  1. Why would they point and shout at the bird they know is going to fly by that is plain stupid..I wish they'd leave the poor thing alone :/
    most of those big lens people don't even know how to set focus so your photographs must be better than most of them tell them to laugh at that :P
    That view is so cool :D

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    1. I felt so sorry for those condors. Why can't we appreciate nature in silence?
      I've noticed those people with big lenses taking pictures with the cap still on. Half of the time it's just rich people wanting to show off. Best part was that I took about eight pictures of condors that day. Four were bad (the second pic was one of those), three were fairly good and one was like the things you see on postcards :) The big-lense people took like 100 and got maybe 10 decent pics and nothing really good. I wanted to shove my pic in their faces so bad :P
      The view is even more beautiful from up close, from where you can look down into the canyon, but when I tried to catch that beauty in a picture it just didn't work - it looked two-dimensional, so I stopped taking pictures. I rely on memory now when I tell about Colca Canyon :) Works great too :)

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    2. "Why can't we appreciate nature in silence?" reminded me of Sean Penn from Secret Life of Walter Mitty..In case you don't know what I'm talking about...he plays a photographer in the movie and is in some remote mountains finding a rare animal..he found it but refused to photograph it :D
      Telling such show offs they ain't doing it right gives me so much pleasure XD

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    3. I haven't seen the movie, but the scene describes my feelings towards people's relationship with nature really well. Sometimes it's better to just watch and enjoy the moment.

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  2. Seems like you've had quite an eventful day. Sometimes just appreciating something in silence is the best thing to do.

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    1. It was quite an eventful day, one of the most eventful days of my Peru trip, I think.
      I'm so glad you understand :)

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